In 2014 growth in tourism in the Cayman Islands was very strong, setting the bar too high in terms of growth rates for 2015. Performance in 2015 broke records in terms of actual incoming tourists, whilst growth in percentage terms was limited compared to 2014. The capacity of the country’s infrastructure could be one constraint on more aggressive growth during the year. In addition, the islands face intense competition from other Caribbean destinations, which in turn are hosting events and promoting tourism differently to increase their arrivals in a more aggressive manner.
Online travel remained in the development stage in the Cayman Islands in 2015. Leading players in different categories of the tourism market have an important online presence, yet continued to enjoy more success in offline transactions. Some of the leading brands in the market use social media as a way of increasing loyalty and as a marketing tool.
The most notable activity to support tourism in 2015 in the Cayman Islands was the remodelling of the country’s Owen Roberts International Airport. The construction began in 2015 and should be completed by 2018. When the project is finalised, the airport should be 207,000 sq ft, compared to its current 77,000 sq ft. This development is very important for future growth of tourism revenues.
In 2014 Health City was launched in the Cayman Islands. The medical facility is also aiming to develop an onsite hotel, dedicated to health tourism. The development of this project could put the Cayman Islands in the spotlight, as it would offer high-quality health services and accommodation for this type of tourism.
Tourism in the Cayman Islands is expected to witness healthy growth over the forecast period, boosted by important investment to infrastructure and the overall tourism market in the territory. There were several important projects under development at the end of the review period, including the reconstruction of Owen Roberts International Airport to increase capacity.
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